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EIT signing ceremony

Front row: Joseph P. Grunenwald, President of Clarion University; Tony Piccirillo, Executive Director of EIT

Second row: William Hallock, Chair of Clarion's Department of Applied Technology; Paul Fitzgerald, EIT Director; and Christopher Reber, Executive Dean of Clarion University-Venango Campus. 

OIL CITY and ERIE, PA-Students in the Erie area and beyond can now earn a Clarion University associate degree partly or completely in Erie. The degree is offered through Clarion's Department of Applied Technology, located at Clarion University-Venango Campus in Oil City. The unique program incorporates general education courses offered by Clarion online or at the Venango Campus in Oil City, with technical education provided through Erie Institute of Technology (EIT) in Erie. The partnership was finalized at a signing ceremony this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at the EIT headquarters adjacent to the Millcreek Mall.

            Students will earn a Clarion University Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology or Administration Technology degree, with technical concentrations through EIT in the following programs:  Network & Database Professional; Electronic Engineering Technology; Electronics Technician; Biomedical Equipment Technology; Industrial Automation and Robotics Technology; CNC/Machinist Technician; Maintenance Technician; Refrigeration, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; Welding Technology; and Business Office Professional.

             Founded in 1958 as A.T.E.S. Technical School and renamed Erie Institute of Technology in 1976, EIT is a recognized regional leader in electronics education. In 1986, it was authorized by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to award an expanded curriculum in Electronic Engineering Technology.

            In 2001, EIT was purchased by Erie developer Rick Griffith, who significantly expanded programming, and eventually relocated the institute to its current site. The new, expanded EIT facility features a large manufacturing bay, specialty labs, and classrooms.

"This is a wonderful partnership of two great educational institutions.  We are excited that EIT students will be able to earn the Clarion University degree at the Venanago Campus, but we are equally pleased that Clarion students can receive the technical portion of their training at EIT," said Executive Director, Tony Piccirillo.

EIT Director Paul Fitzgerald noted, "EIT is equipped with the faculty and facilities to provide the student with a first class technical educational experience. This agreement will allow students the flexibility of completing their studies at either one of these high quality institutions."

            "Affiliating with EIT presents a unique opportunity to work with an important member of the Erie educational community," said Clarion University President Dr. Joseph P. Grunenwald. "EIT is the seventh technical partner in our growing applied technology program, which offers high-quality educational opportunities for students and addresses an important need in our region for employees who possess needed technical skills and the solid educational background to advance into management positions."

            Utilizing a creative partnership model, students complete the general education courses through Clarion University and the technical education through accredited, certified, licensed and/or otherwise approved technical education organizations. Over 100 students are currently enrolled in the Venango Campus' applied technology programs and graduate job placement exceeds 90%. More than 30 technical concentrations are available to students through Clarion's technical education partners, ranging from Certified Web Designer to Electric Utility Technology to Precision Machining, Hardwood Lumber Inspection and the trades.

            "This program has provided life-changing opportunities for residents of the region," said Dr. Christopher M. Reber, executive dean of the Venango Campus. "It has helped many people enter and progress in high-demand technical fields and offered retraining for displaced workers, very often assisted through financial aid or scholarship support."

            The Clarion University-Venango Campus Industrial Technology program was awarded national accreditation by the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) in November 2009. ATMAE is recognized as the premier professional association for the accreditation of industrial technology programs in colleges, universities, and technical institutes.

            Dr. Bill Hallock is chair of Clarion's Department of Applied Technology. "Partnering with EIT provides a real benefit to students," he said. "Students who have already completed EIT's program will be able to earn the Clarion University degree on the Venango Campus, which offers modern and upscale apartment housing and a wide range of out-of-class programs and services in a personal atmosphere, or through online instruction, and those currently enrolled in the Applied Technology program will benefit from the new concentrations our affiliation with EIT affords them."

            For more information about the applied technology degree program, contact the Clarion University-Venango Campus Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 814-676-6591, ext. 1211, or

            Clarion University-Venango Campus is the oldest regional campus in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education.   The campus provides high-quality educational programs and personalized services to help students succeed.  Students can begin any of Clarion University's 90+ bachelor's degrees at the Venango Campus, earn an associate degree, a bachelor's or master's degree in select areas, obtain a one-year certificate or participate in a variety of professional development and personal enrichment courses.  The campus is home to Clarion University's School of Nursing and Allied Health, the Department of Applied Technology, and the Venango Department of Arts and Sciences. 

6/17/2010 1:30 PM

Clarion University–Venango Campus Applied Technology Degree to Be Offered in Partnership with Erie Institute of Technology